The Case

First I must explain that the law system in the USA works differently from the European law system, and certainly different from the Belgian law system. In contrast to the European way, in USA, lawsuits are public. Anyone in the world can visit the USA Courts website PACER and read or download any complaint, defense, motion, reply, evidence, document, etc… ever filed in any lawsuit.   This is how the international press gets informed daily. 
On April 11th, 2012 the Internet was overloaded with the news that on that day the famous Las Vegas magician Teller filed a complaint for copyright infringement and unfair competition in the Las Vegas Court against Gerard Bakardy. In this complaint Teller claims that I copied his illusion and asks a reward of maximum damages, minimum $ 300.000.
In his complaint Teller states that he has damages caused by a You-Tube video uploaded by Gerard Bakardy. (which, shortly after, was taken down on Tellers demand)
Not one of the exhibits filed by Teller in his complaint is proving his damages. Also the many articles in the media are in contrast to Tellers statements, calling it a clever media stunt from Teller, resulting in more ticket sales for the Penn & Teller shows. 
Teller and his attorneys demanded a takedown from my video “The rose and her shadow”. Since this video was needed to prove the alleged infringement, one assumes that before doing so they had taken a copy from that video.  But they say they didn’t.  (Read this unbelievable story and consequences in the evidence)
Teller used a different way to prove to the Court that Bakardy did have a video on YouTube. While Teller played that video in his computer (before ordering the take-down) he took some screenshots and filed the printed screenshots as the most important key evidence, to prove his damage.    
Yes indeed, the screenshots in Tellers exhibits do show a frame from a video wherein Gerard Bakardy performs an illusion with a 100% visible rose in a water filled transparent bottle, with right under that frame the number of views this video had. In this case… 14.   Fourteen. 

The screenshots taken by Teller of his computer shows more than the name Gerard Bakardy and his picture on the video. Above the Antwerp magicians name and picture there is a toolbar showing Teller’s most favorite web links. It is remarkable that 5 (five) of these links are referring to websites showing hard porn photos and videos for gays wherein some of the actors look very young, almost childlike! 
Filing and publishing such documents must have another reason than proving your case because the web links at issue are absolutely irrelevant and do not have anything to do with an alleged infringement or with the copyright complaint filed in the Las Vegas Court.  When I realized that these exhibits were (as explained above) published on the internet, seen and downloaded by millions, it became clear to me that this action was just a part of Tellers worldwide smear campaign against me.  
Surprised in which way the Las Vegas proceeding started I asked Mr. Teller about his intentions. He answered that he didn’t want me to waste his time with these questions. See the e-mails.pdf. 
Two weeks after it seemed that the arrogant attitude of the American Teller was no more than ‘Las Vegas poker and bluff’ since he re-filed on April 25th, exactly the same complaint, this time with altered exhibits, cleaned up ones. The computer screenshots no longer show Teller’s favorites on the toolbar, but show a photo shopped grayed out toolbar.  Click to read  Teller v. Dogge Complaint 25.04.2012.pdf. 
Although the Goliath against tiny David ‘battle’ started in an ‘under the belt’ and overwhelming way I decided to defend myself, without a lawyer.  Not knowing the least about ‘the USA Federal Rules’, it was a big step into the lion’s den.  
                      “Thanks Your Honor ! “
I appreciate that the Las Vegas Court allows me to defend myself as ‘pro-se’. My first reply/answer in the beginning of the proceeding shows that I’m not a lawyer, but shows also the drive to prove my innocence, as you can read in my answer doc 39.pdf 
I must honestly say that I felt intimidated in the beginning; especially because Mr. Teller demanded a Jury trial. Knowing that Teller has millions of fans making it almost impossible to compose an impartial and unprejudiced jury, I filed a motion requesting the Court to compose a jury with professional magicians and copyright specialists. The Las Vegas Court denied my motion.  
During 2 years of proceedings there happened a lot, an awful lot as you will read on this website. Of course I defended myself in the best way I could and filed multiple exhibits. Apparently it seemed that Teller got scared to continue the proceedings ending with a jury trial as first demanded because he filed multiple motions to the Court to get a summary judgment without a Jury.   
To read one of Tellers motions click   122-main.pdf 
You will be surprised to see what kind of underhand techniques are practiced by Teller and his attorneys... it is unbelievable as you can read in my replies to the Court  151.pdf &  53 exhibits 138 blz - Copyright infringement.pdf   See also the ‘evidence’ page. 

The End ?
The Las Vegas Judge Mahan ordered - without any jury trial and without any hearing, without giving any chance to Bakardy to do his pleadings, without asking any question to any of the parties – that Bakardy’s You Tube video (having 14 views) was an infringement on Tellers copyright and that I have to pay a minimum of $30.000 to Teller for damages and that I have to pay for Tellers attorney’s fees as you can read in the Order   DOC 184.pdf . 
Tratos, Tellers attorney, from the Greenberg Traurig Lawyers firm sent a letter to inform me about the litigation costs …$700.000 (see What page), further he states that Teller wants to continue the proceedings to get extra rewarded because of willful infringement and unfair competition. 
The Las Vegas Judge does not really substantiate the Order and doesn’t reply to most of Bakardy’s arguments. On the contrary, in a sarcastic way he compares Bakardy with an .. ?‘Holy man from the Himalayas’..? saying that no one notices the differences between the two illusions, calling them ‘NEARLY  identical’.
Well, regarding Tratos invoice, I must say that I NEARLY won the grand lottery and that I NEARLY paid his invoice twice.   
Will this be ‘the end’ ??   It could be the end of the Las Vegas proceedings, but I presume that the bitter taste of this decadent story will stay alive for a long time by many… 
Was it a fair trial ??
Anyone will have his own opinion…obviously.  
The least thing one can say is that it was surely an unequal “battle”, just like tiny David against Goliath from the Bible story.
The world famous magician and multimillionaire Teller represented by, so to say, the best (and probably the most expensive) lawyers in the USA – versus – an average and normal working man Bakardy, having no money to hire the second best lawyer in the USA and therefore is defending himself as ‘pro-se’ without any lawyer. 
I really believed that I could convince the USA Court and jury that I did not do anything wrong and that my illusion must be different from Tellers since he offered me $125.000 to get the exclusive rights on my method and to come into possession of my invention. Only this fact proves that Teller noticed that my prop or method is better than his and leads to a surpassing performance of the illusion.                            If Teller was able to perform Bakardy’s illusion, he would have never offered any money at all.
The “battle” became even more unequal from the moment that the Las Vegas Judge did not take any action but tolerated the multiple malpractices from Teller and his attorneys.
Still, I kept believing in justice and wrote to the judge that I was prepared to come to the Las Vegas Court chamber to defend myself and to cross-examine the witnesses’ ‘approached’ by Teller and to inform the jury during my pleadings of the multiple malpractices.
More than likely this was the reason for the ‘honorable’ Court to convict me without any hearing and without giving me any chance to do my pleadings for the jury.
So, the analogy from David and Goliath is not completely right, since David got at least the chance to fight… and to win!
In my opinion it was anything except a fair trial !!
Read more in... Believe it or not   or
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Antwerpen - Belgium

Las Vegas - USA

The Case in Antwerp is about a complaint filed by Gerard Bakardy against Mr. Teller for tort, defaming and libel. Teller was ‘summoned‘ on September 6th. 2012.

°    Unlawfully and without awaiting a Court’s order Teller published texts on the internet stating that Bakardy stole his ‘shadows’ illusion by committing copyright infringement.

°    Teller published 8 adds in nation wide newspapers in Belgium and Spain stating that Bakardy is wanted to appear in the Las Vegas Court because of criminal acts committed by Gerard Dogge (Bakardy). Even if the court did think that Bakardy infringed Tellers copyright it’s still is not a crime and does not justify the ‘Wild West’ style of the ‘wanted’ adds published by Teller:

°   Teller published texts on multiple internet sites stating that anyone who considers doing business with Bakardy is risking to be involved in the ‘case’ and is going to be sued by him, making it impossible for Bakardy to earn his living. 

°     Adding slanderous exhibits to his complaint filed in the Las Vegas Court and knowing very well that the entire complaint is going to be published on the internet Teller is slandering Bakardy’s person worldwide. In his complaint exhibit 3 contains screenshots taken by and from Tellers computer showing Bakardy’s name and image right under a toolbar showing shortcuts of web links mostly referring to gay orientated hard porn sites wherein some of the actors are looking childish. (Mantube-Corbin-CFSelect-2long-Tyler)

I was not aware of this and did not notice where I was associated with when I first received the complaint.  It became clear to me after people started asking me weird questions and pointing out the shortcuts explaining that they, more than likely, were referring to:                                                                                          

When I received an email from a Reuters reporter, sending me the entire complaint including the exhibit 3 at issue, asking me to comment, I realized that I was publicly associated with something I did not want to be associated with.  In the deposition on Teller, he stated that he took the screenshots on his computer showing the shortcuts to his favorite porn web links. 

Meanwhile, these screenshots are seen and downloaded by millions on the global Internet.

This among others has forced me to file a complaint against Mr. Teller.   The final pleadings took place in Antwerp on December 20th, 2013 followed by an incomprehensible sentence in January 2014.

As published in the press, anyone can read the Antwerp Court order. The Antwerp judge found that Bakardy was not entitled to be rewarded for any damages because Teller was just a little careless and convicted Bakardy to pay for Tellers attorney costs: 16.500 Euro.

The only thing one cannot say is that world famous magicians are careless; on the contrary, they fanatically take care of the smallest details (especially Teller) Therefore I believe the Antwerp Judge is mistaken and I’m now in appeal. 

Although Bakardy’s celebrity level is much lower than Tellers and the USA press seems not really interested in what happens in Antwerp, the Belgium press was...

I will keep my freedom of speech website updated whenever there is some more news in the Antwerp case!